Squad Assessment: Goalkeepers

Welcome back readers. The dust has settled, Twitter has calmed down and the ranters have had their rants. I don't always claim everything is rosy myself but by heck some people like a good whinge don't they.

Squad Assessment: Goalkeepers

In this series we are taking a look at the various departments within our squad so first let's remind ourselves of the Tottenham Hotspur squad or roster for my American readers.

Tottenham Hotspur First-team squad

1FranceGKHugo Lloris 
2EnglandDFKyle Walker
3EnglandDFDanny Rose
4FranceDFYounès Kaboul 
5BelgiumDFJan Vertonghen
6RomaniaDFVlad Chiricheș
7EnglandMFAaron Lennon 
9SpainFWRoberto Soldado
10TogoFWEmmanuel Adebayor
11ArgentinaMFÉrik Lamela
13NetherlandsGKMichel Vorm
15EnglandDFEric Dier
16EnglandDFKyle Naughton
17EnglandMFAndros Townsend
18EnglandFWHarry Kane
19BelgiumMFMousa Dembélé
20FranceMFBenjamin Stambouli
21ArgentinaDFFederico Fazio
22BelgiumMFNacer Chadli
23DenmarkMFChristian Eriksen
24United StatesGKBrad Friedel
29FranceMFÉtienne Capoue
32CameroonDFBenoît Assou-Ekotto
33WalesDFBen Davies
38EnglandMFRyan Mason
42AlgeriaMFNabil Bentaleb

Tottenham Hotspur Players Out on loan

14GermanyMFLewis Holtby (at Hamburger SV until the end of the 2014/15 season)
28EnglandMFTom Carroll (at Swansea City until the end of the 2014/15 season)
56ScotlandGKJordan Archer (at Northampton Town until the end of January 2015)
United StatesDFDeAndre Yedlin (will join from Seattle Sounders FC in 2015)

Right that is our squad now. We have one goalkeeper out on loan gaining experience, 21-year-old Scotland U21 keeper Jordan Archer and 19 year-old Luke McGee will play with the Development Squad.

At he club now our three first-team squad goalkeepers who are:
1  France
Hugo Lloris 
Michel Vorm
24United States
Brad Friedel

The clear structure is Hugo Lloris as the numbers one, Michel Vorm the number two and Brad Friedel covering for emergencies as a number three.

The public relations speak will tell you we have signed Michel Vorm to challenge Hugo Lloris, keep him on his toes etc. Not a bit of it. Mauricio Pochettino said in his squad assessment:

"Michel Vorm will provide additional strength to our goalkeepers alongside Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel and Luke McGee and we look forward to having him back at full fitness soon."

The reality of the situation is that Hugo Lloris will play all Premier League games unless injured. He is captain of the French national team, he is not going to get complacent. Michel Vorm will play in the FA Cup and the League Cup, certainly in the early rounds and after that Mauricio Pochettino will have a decision to make. Give these competitions entirely to your number two or bring in your number one for semi-finals and a Wembley final.

There is then the UEFA Europa League where I would think, given the added importance of the competition this season, a Champions League place for the winners, Pochettino may well rotate his goalkeepers. Hugo Lloris may play until we are qualified then Vorm take over for the remaining group games or Vorm may play the away legs and Lloris the home.

The French national manager has told his squad that it is important they are playing European football if they wish to be selected regularly, that presumably would apply to his captain as well so we may well see Hugo Lloris in Europe, not just the Premier League. He has played thus far because Vorm is not yet fit after the World Cup as Pochettino indicated above.

Michel Vorm will be hoping his performances put pressure on Lloris, he is 30 himself and the Holland number 3 so he will want and be expecting plenty of opportunity to play. That will have been a part of his contract negotiations so he will already know how much opportunity he is going to get.

Last season Tottenham played 54 games, more than anyone else in the English Premier League (EPL), an FA Cup run would have added more to that so Vorm will get opportunity. He himself said he wanted to come to a big club and experience it, to test himself. His performances at Swansea had declined so a new challenge where he has to improve may be just what he needed.

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He is certainly pleased to be here and didn't take any time to think about the move. He was on holiday in Ibiza, was plucked off the beach to sign and returned within 24 hours.he told reporters after he had signed:

"Every club has two top goalkeepers in their squad. It suits the club's philosophy that there are two of us with Hugo and me. Especially when we see that Tottenham is active in a lot of competitions. 
"In my eyes this (Tottenham) is a really big club. Especially when we see that they are active in a lot of competitions."

He then spoke to the clubs website briefly saying the size of the club attracted him before continuing to wind down after the World Cup.

“I've worked with a lot of goalkeepers and at this level you have to compete as well as be colleagues. I've had that my whole career and I'm looking forward to doing that here. 
“To be at a top team is a new challenge and I'm really looking forward to it. That's why I signed here – to taste how it is to play for a big club like Spurs.”

Should Lloris suffer any injury of course Vorm is a number one who can step in, by a number one I mean a number one at most other clubs. But what of the future. Well goalkeepers go on longer than outfield players, you only have to look at 43-year-old Brad Friedel for testament to that, so Vorm has many years ahead of him.

What if Tottenham do not qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, will Hugo Lloris remain? He may, the signing of a new contract really doesn't mean much in the modern football world, it's just a mechanism for a club to get a decent transfer fee now. If Hugo Lloris were to move on for any reason he is sitting pretty as the man to automatically take over and he may well have assessed that Lloris may only be here for another year or two.

Of course it may go the other way and Lloris stay for a while in which case he'd review his options but he was probably going to be the number two at Swansea so performing the role for us with European football on offer is not the surprise many were saying it was.

His arrival allows Brad Friedel to retire next summer, which frees up a non-home grown squad place, whether we retain him in a coaching capacity we'll have to wait and see.

Whatever happens the goalkeeping position is looking good now, we have needed a new number two and Friedel allowed us not to rush our search, wait for the right man at the right time to become available. That has now happened.

While some were concerned when Friedel was in goal in Europe, they will feel more secure with Vorm between the sticks, a keeper who should be able to come off his line quicker than Brad!

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